The Telework Research Network recently released “The State of Telework in the U.S.” providing details about telecommuting and how individuals, businesses and the government are profiting. Using data from the public and private sectors, the study made some interesting discoveries including:
- Forty-five percent of the US workforce holds a job that is compatible with at least part-time telework.
- Fifty million U.S. employees who want to work from home hold jobs that are telework compatible though only 2.9 million consider home their primary place of work (2.3% ofthe workforce).
- Regular telecommuting grew by 61% between 2005 and 2009. During the same period, home-based self employment grew by 1.7%.
- Based on current trends, telecommuters will total 4.9 million by 2016, a 69% increase from the current level but well below other forecasts.
- Seventy-six percent of telecommuters work for private sector companies, down from 81% in 2005—the difference is largely attributable to increased WAH among state and federal workers.
- Using home as a ‘reasonable accommodation’ per the Americans with Disabilities Act, 316,000 people regularly work from home.
- The typical telecommuter is a 49-year-old, college educated, salaried, non-union employee in a management or professional role, earning $58,000 a year at a company with more than 100 employees.
- Over 75% of employees who work from home earn over $65,000 per year, putting them in the upper 80 percentile relative to all employees.
- Larger companies are more likely to allow telecommuting than smaller ones.
- Non-union organizations are more likely to offer telecommuting than those with unions.
- In a quarter of the nation’s 20 largest metro areas, more people now telecommute than use public transportation as their “principal means of transportation to work.”
- The biggest barrier to telecommuting, by a wide margin, is management fear and mistrust.
Savings and Benefits:
- The existing 2.9 million US telecommuters save 390 million gallons of gas and prevent the release of 3.6 million tons of greenhouse gases yearly.
- If those with compatible jobs worked at home 2.4 days a week (the national average of those who do), the reduction in greenhouse gases (51 million tons) would be equivalent of taking the entire New York workforce off the roads. The national savings would total over $900 billion a year; enough to reduce our Persian Gulf oil imports by 46%.
- The energy saved annually from telecommuting could exceed the output of all renewable energy sources combined.
You can check out the full report at Workshifting.
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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